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Northsea closes a 70 million round with Ysios at the helm

The investment fund Ysios Capital just closed, along with Forbion Growth, an operation to inject 80 million dollars (about 71 million euros) into a biotechnology company working on a drug against the disease of NASH. The Netherlands company Northsea has a phase 2B drug, the last stage before starting to manage regulatory authorizations and marketing licenses. In addition to the two funds that have led the round and that will enter the company's board of directors, existing investors in the company have also participated in the operation. It has not transpired, however, how much money each party contributes.

“We believe that there is a great need with the NASH”, contextualizes the Ysios partner responsible for the investment, Jordi Xiol . “It is an opportunity due to the number of patients there are and the clinical data of this company are very good: the drug is very promising,” he adds. Internally, for this fund, the round also means diversifying its portfolio, since it is the first time they have entered the capital of a company with a drug in such an advanced stage of development. “We tend to invest in companies that are in more preliminary stages, companies that are still with studies on animals,” he explains.

Northsea plays with the advantage of having behind several years of research in the Omega 3 fatty acids that are at the center of its proposal. The company is heir to the knowledge of Pronova , a firm that concentrated good part of the advances in the use of these acids (found for example in fish oil) to treat metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. What the team has done after Northsea is to modify these acids to improve their properties and that, without losing their general capacity, they specifically target the liver.

Definitive clinical trials

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This organ is the main victim of NASH, a disease closely related to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes that involves liver inflammation and can lead to cirrhosis. In fact, according to this Ysios spokesperson, this condition is currently the most important cause of liver transplantation and is expected to become the leading cause of liver cancer.

The $ 80 million raised now adds to a round of another $ 40 million that the company closed early last year and will target especially to finish the latest clinical trials before (if all goes well) to go on the market. The key date, for investors, is the first quarter of 2023, which is when the final results are expected.

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